Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Review...What A Year!

Okay, okay, so I'm cheating a little bit with this picture. Technically, if you want to get technical, this was Christmas Eve 2015, but I never posted it (who knows why???), so it is now part of my 2016 year in review. This picture makes me smile. I am (and was) in such awe of how good God is by giving us such a precious gift.

 Third trimester in January! We had just had a huge scare when Levi's heartbeat couldn't be found for thirty seconds or so, and while that does not seem like a very long time, it felt like time had stopped while my whole heart began to crumble. They wanted to monitor me for a while after that, and of course, monkey man was leaping and bouncing within a few minutes. I felt so thankful that afternoon.

In February, Jonah had his wisdom teeth pulled, and then we took our crew- and this bump- to Florida to soak up some much needed sunshine. We met up with my parents and it was one of my very favorite trips ever.

Very first time at Sonic! We had to see what all the fuss was about. And...I'm still not sure. :/ Sorry, don't hate me!

Week 34!!

This was the first time I actually enjoyed being pregnant, and I tried to treasure each and every milestone, thinking that I might miss it one day. And I do.

Love these crazy people!

 Off to see the dolphins! Little did we know that the other people on the boat would prove to be even more entertaining. HaHaHaHa (Endless beer on tap...)

One of my most popular posts to date has been this post about my maternity shoot and taking great looking pictures with a selfie stick.

We had some incidents on the way home, including a flat tire at 4 in the morning, but we made it safe and sound. Next time, we fly! I'd started this quilt the day before we left, because I'm smart like that. I was up before everyone else the morning we finally got back, and I remember sitting on the couch, watching the sun rise up through the woods, enjoying the quiet and stillness, and I finished the quilt. It's one of my most treasured baby things for Levi.

We celebrated Jonah's fifteenth birthday on March 5th, exactly one month from my due date (and Levi's actual birthday, we would later find out).

 My family and friends threw a sweet baby shower for us!

 I remember captioning this "stripes for daaaaaaaays" - I think it still works!

So ready to meet our baby boy!

And here he is!!!
Nameless until 7:25, and he was born at 8:25. ha ha

Such a healing salve for this Mama's wounded heart.
 I couldn't believe that he was finally here.

 Already adored by his big brothers and sister

Oh my goodness, that face! I miss that squishy little face.
I'd also forgotten that he had the red around his eyes from birth.

This was our first spring here and I couldn't wait to get my hands dirty. The previous owners hadn't planted one single thing in the backyard, so it really was the perfect clean slate for me. I can't wait to see this in a few months- those pink roses bloomed profusely all summer long!

Sandy baby toes. I die.

We didn't travel as much this summer as we normally do, but there were still plenty of day trips to the ocean, lakes and mountains.

 Time stood still again when we had to bring Levi to the ER to be treated for pneumonia. We were there just for one day and night- thankfully the meds began to work quickly. I didn't sleep much that night, just laid on that sofa cot thing and prayed for my baby boy and for all the other Moms and Dads in the world who face far greater medical issues with their children. There is nothing worse than watching your child in pain.

 I don't think I ever blogged about the transformation to our downstairs area, but two floors up, operation Switch Rooms for Isabelle and Caleb began. I have been frustrated many times by my desire to be done already, and the fact that I can't really do it all. And, well, I can't really do it all. #truth

 I've also tried to keep up with my fitness goals, so we went on lots and lots of walks this spring, summer and fall. Winters are more challenging since I can't pop him in the stroller and go most days, simply because the snowbanks make the roads so much narrower and I feel pretty unsafe. Maybe we'll try mall walking with the older folks. :)

More switching...

We got new windows right after Levi was born and it made a HUGE difference. Plus, I've been tackling all the trim, so the white on white looks much different and fresh and clean, just how I like it. I finally finished these doors, too. Painting trim is no big deal. Painting doors, though, is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment.

 How on earth did my oldest son turn seventeen in August? We had several pool parties this summer, but this one was my favorite.

 School started and a new normal was forged, if you can call it that. Levi doesn't do much of anything on a schedule, and that's been really hard on me. Another exciting soccer season was underway and I knew it was tradition for the Varsity team to dye their hair Obscene Blond (if that isn't the actual name of the dye, it should be), so I begrudgingly arranged for family portraits. It was eight hundred degrees that day, and my hair had just begun falling out in masses about a week earlier, and I still wasn't happy with certain areas... glad I went for it anyway because I treasure this.

 We met up with extended family on Bill's side at the apple orchard. This look sums up how he felt about it all, ha ha.

 Smooches on the sidelines at soccer games

 Enjoying a pretty walk in the woods

We brought Jonah and Caleb to a Jeremy Camp concert in November and it was so good. We were moved to become a sponsor family that night.

 Another challenge for me this year was finding balance with my shop, Rose & Ruffle. I took a lot of time off in the spring, typically my busiest season, and started taking custom orders again in the fall. If Levi slept (at all) it might not have been so hard, but it was. Everything got finished and mailed off in time for Christmas, though, and I am so grateful. Thank you to my wonderful customers! This flannel nightgown- in different prints and colors- has been my biggest seller.

And then it was Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, two December birthdays, Christmas, and now New Year's Eve! We're celebrating tonight with an eclectic feast, as usual, and playing games and things. I know, super exciting. But one, I'm exhausted. And two, I'm afraid of all the intoxicated people on the road on NYE, so we stay in.

 I really could go on and on about this year and all of the countless ways we've been blessed. We've certainly had our challenges too. For whatever reason, this has been the year of sickness- every time I turn around, someone is coming down with something. Normally I don't get sick very often and I've been down and out at least half a dozen times this year. Ugh. I'm hoping this trend does not continue in the new year. If a cute little guy learned to sleep better, that sure would be great, too.

Most years I'm feeling slightly depressed at the end of a year, not yet ready for the finality of it. Not this year! I'm looking forward to a brand new year, fresh and hopeful and open to any and all possibilities. Happy New Year to you! Thanks for reading and following along!


Regine Karpel said...

Happy New Year.

Regine Karpel said...


Bethany said...

Thanks so much. Same to you!

Leslie Steele said...

Your fam is adorbs!! Ok, adding your blog to my daily reads. :)

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